This post is dedicated to her.
August 14, 2015, marked her fifth birthday since we’ve known each other and soon it’ll be our fifth anniversary. This got me thinking about why I’m not sick of her after all these years, which led me to thinking deeply about why I’m so lucky to have her.
She is my compass. My rock. My confidant.
So we begin.
She epitomises altruism
Without question, she is the most selfless person I know. Her altruism far exceeds the ordinary person and is highly contagious among her close ones.
I know for a fact, that she’d be willing to sacrifice her own life in exchange for the lives of many others. Her list doesn’t begin and end with her families and friends alone, but extends to her pets and even complete strangers.
Personally, I’ve come to learn of her selflessness through life’s more subtle moments, of which I’ll share with you four stories:
- I remember the first time she rescued a tiny insect which flew into our apartment. She went to the kitchen and got a cup. She waited for the bug to crawl in before carrying it out on to the balcony to set it free. In this bug, she saw life when I saw death. I still think about that day often.
- Then there was the time when we waited in line to get some creamy puffs and on the way home, I offered one to a beggar. Feeling pretty chuffed about my generosity, she turned to me and asked why I didn’t give him the whole bag. As she turned away to munch on a creamy puff, I fell a little deeper in love.
- One freezing evening on board a cruise ship, I’d briefly lost sight of her before finding her picking up trash and food scrapes left behind by other tourists. “Just in case they got blown into the ocean,” she explained. I just smiled.
- The final moment came recently. When asked what she’d wanted for her birthday, she said nothing but asked that I make annual donations to two charities she felt compelled to help. When I protested and said I needed more time to think, she smiled sweetly and signed me up to both that instant.
Before I met her, I was selfish. It didn’t matter how many times others encouraged me to be otherwise, it didn’t move me.
After I met her, everything changed. And I don’t want to imagine the kind of person I would’ve become, if it weren’t for her.
In living selflessly, she is less than one in a million.
She possesses uncompromising values
Before I met her, my moral construct was more akin to a sponge, soaking up all kinds of questionable behaviours and attitudes from all walks of life. This eventually led me to believing that much of life is grey and for a long time, that was the way it stayed. My attitude fixated on believing that nothing was absolute, nothing was 100% right or wrong.
Soon after meeting her, she introduced me to her moral compass, one I’d quickly realised to be in perfect working order. She showed me how easy life became if you just decide who you’re going to be and how you’re going to live your life. She didn’t speak nor preach to me of her values. She simply lived out her life in illustration of the sort of person she’d advocate others to become.
Thanks to her, much of my life is no longer grey or murky, but black and white. For instance, I know for certain that adultery and prostitution is wrong, irrespective of the degree or circumstance. An older friend of mine once told me that life is complicated and that I shouldn’t be too quick to judge. He said that I too, may fall victim to adultery or prostitution some day and then I’ll appreciate the complexity of the situation. Five years ago, I might’ve believed him. Today, life is simple because I know what he said is wrong.
The moment I stopped second guessing myself on where I stand, life got out of my way and I got on with living. I have no one else but her to thank for that. Like the late Steve Jobs once said, “A lot can change over time but values, a person’s core values, should not change.”
She demonstrates unparalleled passion for humanity
Most of you won’t know this, but she has lived a truly extraordinary life. She’s been through more adversity than one could possibly fathom. In the period before I met her, she’s already seen and done more than most in a life time. In relaying her stories to me, I’ve come to learn love, hate, forgiveness and much more.
Life experiences have cultivated in her an unquenchable passion for humanity and to the end of suffering. Recently, she’s re-aligned her passion for humanity with her current studies and career. And I couldn’t be happier for her.
In her, I found my daily source of inspiration, encouraging me to pursue my passions in life each day.
One day perhaps, I’ll convince her to share her story with the rest of the world.
She is my rock
Together, we plan on making some bold and seemingly insane decisions in life. When that time comes, it’s comforting to know that she’ll be by my side irrespective of whether my decision leads us to success or failure.
The day I excel, I’ll owe it all to her. The day I fail, I know she’ll still be there by my side. And that life is going to be just fine.
“Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
– Dale Carnegie